one mind-chapter 7

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - One Mind-Chapter 7

Submitted: June 04, 2016

Reads: 109

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Submitted: June 04, 2016

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Chapter 7

Nothing marked this day differently than any other particular day.  Yet in hindsight it was one of those turning point days you never saw coming until you glanced in the rear view mirror, days months or even years later.  

Lenny and Orion had been doing a thorough cleaning of the equipment and it’s environ in anticipation of a monthly inspection. They had been at it since after dinner and it was late as they finished up, neither of them concentrating too much on the job at hand.

The machines had been manually shut off over an hour ago, Lenny had double checked Orion’s compliance to ensure both of their safeties.  In defiance of these measures almost, Lenny watched as the mulcher's arms suddenly froze, shuddered, then started loudly again, all within a matter of seconds.Lenny screamed to his partner, already aware he was an instant too late, watching as his nightmare creeped forward in slow motion before his eyes, playing out to the hard rock beat of the machine itself. The arms came crashing down, scooping up Orion, treating him no differently than discarded carrot peelings, forking his struggling body into the mulch receptacle below.  A deathly stillness arose as the mechanical ominous humming slowed to a silence, with the machine releasing one maniacal final hiss of air, as an unexpected pop echoed throughout the room.

Something the size of a large marble, Orion's glass eye, rolled across the floor, stopping at Lenny’s feet, staring blankly up at him.  Lenny leaned down near this one remnant of his workmate, now eerily disconnected from the person who had worn it.  Inexplicably he slipped the glass eye into his pocket, offering a quick prayer for his friend.

The investigators would come, Lenny knew.  If he listened closely he swore that even now, he could hear their footsteps running down the hall in time with each other.  The protectors would investigate the incident and in the end would eventually rule Orion’s death a tragic accident.

Still Lenny knew he would be part of this investigation.  This incident would make him more than a faceless name.  He would be the man who was with Orion.  There would be questions, a search of his background would ensue and Lenny feared a past would be uncovered which still needed to be hidden. 

Lenny stopped briefly during his escape, to clean out his locker, stuffing belongings which had been rescued on previous recycling days into a knapsack, also a recycling save. Then Lenny continued through the empty, darkened hallway.  Even the comforting particulars of his work environment now transformed into shadows of evil trying to grab him with shadowy tentacles as he ran, trying to drag him back to the scene of the crime which he had been helpless in preventing. 

Still it seemed, there was another presence as well.  Maybe Orion’s ghost. Whatever it was pushing him almost, from this sure sanitizing world he had hidden in, toward his next uncertain step.

Lenny opened the doorway, plunging into the darkness of the night a world only worsened by Lenny’s fear, trepidation and the moonless graveyard shift he had been working.  Flashes of pictures sprinted through his disjointed thoughts, all with no solid connection other than the fact they were in his mind at this time.  His body mirrored this thinking, with Lenny racing in no specific direction, only running to escape and to find all at once.

The place where he finally stopped was unfamiliar to Lenny, a park which appeared to have the poverty of the surrounding neighborhood crowding in on it from all sides. Lenny sat on a worn bench there pondering his next move and catching his breath.

A hand slipped itself around Lenny’s ankle, putting his thoughts toward more practical matters rather quickly.  Lenny grabbed the hand emerging from a pile of refuse behind the bench and forced it away, sprinting impulsively almost, toward a forest of trees in the distance. 

Lenny continued valiantly into these woods. Here among the trees he had cover, he would be harder to spot and he could hear anyone who might be following him. Lenny continued passing tree after tree, deeper and deeper into his camouflage of nature. Time lengthened yet still the darkness of the forest cloaked him in its leafy embrace. He finally stopped to nap, using what he had a blanket with a slight hole in it, to cover himself. 

When Lenny awoke, he estimated by the sun slowly rising in the sky, that it was early.  A muffin and some bottled water, refugees from his locker, sufficed for breakfast. The mosquitoes were dark and thick, as he began once again to trudge forward, with the hills and leaves blending into one another as the terror from the night before replayed in his head.  A hill was a hill, a leaf was a leaf and all that remained of Orion was the glass orb in his pocket.  Lenny began to force himself to look around, requiring his mind to put the past in the past where it belonged. He could not change it the best he could do was leave it and walk on.  Minutes passed to hours, still he continued.

Lenny, always looking forward, noted an unexpected hole with light gravitating from it, appearing in the woods directly ahead.  He began quickening his step, his curiosity and excitement spurring him on.  From where he stood, he saw a cabin with a stream nearby, designed he felt, specifically for him. 

This place was not a neatly manufactured summer home with a well- kept porch, nothing like those advertised as official registered vacation dwellings.  Instead it was a dilapidated run down camp, which in spite of it's appearance, seemed happy and content, especially to Lenny's tired sight.  The stream which ran nearby seemed somehow to complete this bucolic scene.

Exhaustion clouded Lenny’s thinking and threatened to devour his body.  Still he took his time approaching, studying the scene cautiously from a distance, scoping out the little hut for any signs of possible habitation or movement, any indication of life at all.

As one hour turned into two though, darkening clouds arrived, bringing with them a batch of steady rain and thunder.  This dreariness was ushered in by even more flying insects which began attacking their dinner meal in earnest.

Lenny decided to chance running for the shelter.  Arriving at the porch, during a particularly loud thunder clap which seemed to emphasize his move, he creaked the door open waiting for a response to his entry.  None came from the old house, except the noise of silence and an occasional groan of a window pane breathing against the storm, inviting him in.  Lenny moved carefully around the little two room cabin, in fear of fear, ready to sprint away at the slightest sign of life. 

Once assured the place was empty, the cot in the corner, not much more than what would be found at a children's summer camp, beckoned to his aching body.  To Lenny though as he lay on it, it felt like it could have been made from down, being quickly lulled from a half-sleep into total hibernation. 

Lenny awoke, with a clear head and a newly rested body to the darkening rain of the night beating against the window. He had slept, for how long, he did not know. The little house still wrapped itself around him, happily hiding his secrets from the outside world.

Lenny sat at the rickety table in the center of this place, glancing around at the dwelling that he, even up until several months ago, would never have considered adequate and proper.  Yet now this cabin, disheveled, plain and abandoned though it was, held a certain allure, offering Lenny a safe hidden away harbor.

Lenny opened his knapsack where he knew he had a second left over sandwich from last night as well as a notebook and his other recycled rescues. While Lenny finished the last morsel of this meal, he made an assessment of his situation.  He was dry and had a full stomach which was a fine start.  Still there was the future to consider.

Lenny knew he needed to plan the rest of his voyage, as best he could. He opened the notebook, where he had listed clues from Orion's ramblings, any of which could mean something or nothing at all.  Tucked in the back, he unfolded a hand drawn map Orion had once stuffed in Lenny's hands.  This map was a rough outline with markings which were really nothing but vaguely once heard names, places never ventured to but to which fate seemed to be drawing him inexplicably toward now.  He knew that the information he needed was here, instinctively coded somehow, if he could only find the key allowing him to access that code. 

Frustrated he glanced at the map which seemed to mock him. Picking it up, to put it away, Lenny suddenly noticed streams of pin pricked sizer light shining through it, reflecting instantaneously onto his thoughts. Thinking back on the spider sketch he had seen at the meeting, a gathering which seemed years ago now, he realized that maybe these pin pricks were a clue, one which had to be put together.  A connect the dot puzzlement, much like the popular childhood amusement.Lenny placing the map on the table once again, connected only half the dots on Orion’s map, when his clue stared back at him, not a spider but instead a web.  Still there were no marks, no directions as to which spindle he should take.

Orion's eye began to burn in Lenny's pocket although he had no idea why.  Lenny distractedly took it out fingering it as he mused on map.  As the eye rolled between his fingers, it escaped, the sight organ dropping onto the map and rolling in a different direction then Lenny had been considering, stopping at what looked like a pit of some sort.

Lenny stared at the wasteland, a cavernous location which Orion had mentioned several times, only saying it was a place where no one visited, a desert full of vast nothingness.  A place Orion must have been to, for only the odd would visit and only the really odd would stay.

Maybe Orion's eye was seeing more clearly than his own.

Lenny’s mind was suddenly firm on only one goal now, heading to the wasteland.  He approached the kitchen on a mission of sustenance, opening the cabinet doors and surprisingly finding more than he expected for a cabin looking so beleaguered and wanton.  Lenny reasoned he would only take what food he needed, and even ration it at that.

It was in the last cupboard on the top shelf that Lenny found a surprise where he would have least expected a surprise to be.  As his fingers fumbled along the shelves he felt a small plastic rectangle, bringing it down to him.

It was a birth drive, every child received one as part of their birth ceremony. The  drive was empty at first but filled as a child went along, with favorite math equations, quotes from gubernatorial justices like himself, favorite pie charts and useful graphs, becoming a virtual scrapbook of sorts.

He flipped it over to see who it might belong to and as he read his fingers shook, it was El's. Knowing she had once been in here, in this cabin, would make his departure even more bittersweet.  This slight memory, found here, wrapped around his heart and tugged at it even harder as he slid the case inside his knapsack. 

Lenny was up before dawn the next day, hoping to slip away into the dark mist of the forest.  The house, with rain dripping down the windows seemed to be weeping as if losing it's soul inhabitant was causing it pain.  It was like this dwelling longed for him to stay and keep it company, if only so it wouldn't be alone in the world once again.  Lenny closed the door to the little cabin tightly behind him, saying good-bye to the place which had offered him a chance to move on. 

After about a half hour of walking, in his best estimation of the right direction, Lenny heard it.  A branch cracking under foot, but not under his foot.  With this final snapping of the branch, confirmation of his suspicions were made.  He knew even before this sound that there was someone else, a wild animal, a street wanderer or a protector another presence with him.  A shadow of a noise following him, waiting almost.  Lenny did not want to find out for what. 

Lenny ran, like he'd never run before, away from the noise, further from the cabin, and toward his unexplainable future.  The presence was trying to keep up but seemed to be falling further and further behind.  The sound of the branches cracking and the leaves rustling eventually echoed in Lenny's memory alone. 

Stopped under a large tree, hiding in shadows, Lenny squatted down, relishing this chance to reason away the several last lengths.  The sound he'd heard, could have been many things,. 

Lenny pulled out his map and the eye.  Placing the orb on the paper, it moved forward with Lenny’s pen not far behind.  Thus the two friends now travelled as a pair, Orion’s eye from the past leading Lenny’s way forward. 

 

 


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